Thanks to Olga again we all get up early for Ballestas Islands and Paracas Nature Reserve for the afternoon. There were people just going to bed after partying, the streets were a mess and places were opening. What a paradox!
We take a bus into Paracas one hour away and Magpie gets a little more sleep. When we arrive at the pier many people are trying to sell us hats. I figure it is for the sun and being on the water. I soon learn that it is for the number of birds and possible droppings.
The only way I can describe this day is through the pictures. It was incredible and I have included some facts we were given.
Candalabra – 176m long, 46m wide, 2m deep. One theory says it was a direction marker too the Nasca lines. Unfortunately it would be off then.
Sean Lions – 800 babies are born every year.
Red Crabs/Marine Life – is as abundant as the wildlife in the skies and on the islands. The number of red crabs we saw floating around was incredible. It would be easy to scoop a net full from the boat.
Guano – another name for the islands due to the number of birds. Every 5-7 years a couple tons of guano is harvested from the islands for fertilizer. Approximately 300 men come and live on the main island for a couple of months to harvest.
Penguins – it seems odd initially but when you think about it penguins only live in the southern hemisphere but it still seems a little warm for them. These are the Humboldt Penguins.
Paracas Nature Reserve
This is an absolute desert but is gorgeous in its diversity. Again pictures are the best means to describe.
When we get back to our hotel, Magpie and I have to stay another night because we cannot get a bus to Arequipa that night with Olga.